Does your home remain at an inconsistent temperature? Are your monthly energy bills skyrocketing? Then you likely have damaged attic insulation. When your insulation is ruined, it can lead to multiple problems in your attic. From mold and mildew to pest infiltrations, damaged insulation can cause extensive problems.
No one wants to deal with replacing damaged insulation and would rather stop the problem before it starts. Instead of searching for "insulation contractors near me" to ask how you can prevent damage, these are some common reasons and how to avoid them.
5 Causes of Damaged Attic Insulation (and What to Do to Prevent Damage)
As your home ages, issues with your insulation are bound to happen. From unwanted pests to ice dams, many factors could cause damage to your insulation.
1. Mold and Mildew
Mold is one factor that can affect your attic insulation. If your roof leaks, water enters the attic and gets absorbed by traditional forms of insulation, such as fiberglass and cellulose. If mold and mildew set in, it can create a health hazard for your family and pets.
Many mold issues in this space can be resolved with another service called air sealing. Air sealing stops significant air leaks, helping to prevent mold growth and maintain consistent temperatures throughout your home.
This service can be combined with cellulose or fiberglass insulation or using spray foam in the attic. This material works to insulate and air-seal the area.
2. Unwanted Pests
When you hear scratching or little squeaks in your home, it likely means that you have pests in your insulation. Because many attics are dark and you don't visit them regularly, rodents find your insulation the perfect home or source of food.
Your first step should be calling in a company for pest control to eliminate unwanted guests. After that, you'll want to make your attic an undesirable space for them to live in. This is done by inspecting your home's exterior and closing any gaps that creatures may use as entry points.
Don't forget to check your insulation to ensure they are using this as their food source.
3. Shifting and Settling Insulation
Over time, old insulation tends to drift from its original position, which can lower the R-value of your attic. This contributes to an uncomfortable home and higher energy bills. When you maintain your traditional insulation by adding more or shifting the existing insulation, your material is more likely to stay in space.
Another solution is to have a trained professional place a different form of insulation, like spray foam, because it doesn't move around or settle into a different shape over time.
4. Collapsed or Compacted Insulation
You may use your attic for storage, but boxes and bulky items can impact your insulation's stability and effectiveness. Once your attic insulation collapses, its R-value decreases, and your home no longer retains cool air in the summer and heat in the winter.
You can avoid this problem by keeping heavy boxes away from the insulation. Instead, install shelving to keep the weight off the material.
5. Inadequate Airflow
With fiberglass or cellulose insulation, your attic must have proper ventilation. If your attic vents become blocked, there isn't enough airflow, meaning your attic insulation will absorb moisture that causes mold and mildew to grow.
When fiberglass or cellulose insulation is placed in the attic, you must ensure nothing blocks the attic vents. Another solution is to find a local installer who works with spray foam insulation, eliminating the need for attic ventilation.
Resolving Your Insulation Issues
Most homeowners have found that the best way to handle damaged insulation is to replace it and take steps to prevent future issues. It doesn't have to be a complicated process, either. A trained insulation installer may take as little as one day to remove old insulation and replace it with fresh material with a higher R-Value.